CFP: New Thinking about Scientific Realism

5-9 August 2014 Cape Town, South Africa

1st Call for Papers (deadline 15 Dec 2013)

The Philosophy Departments at the University of Pretoria and the University of Johannesburg invite scholars working on scientific realism to submit abstracts for a conference on new thinking about scientific realism.

Our confirmed keynote speaker is Anjan Chakravartty from the University of Notre Dame.

The aim of the conference is to reconsider and re-evaluate the status quo of debates about scientific realism and to investigate, articulate and open up the possibilities for realising promises of new directions of thought about scientific realism.

Format of the conference:

We are planning a keynote address (Anjan Chakravartty); 6 contributed sessions with 8 invited speakers in total and around 10 contributed papers in each different session; and a ‘science talk/debate’ (delivered by leading international scientists) which will take the form of a panel discussion between the scientists and some of the invited speakers.

In addition we plan a conference dinner and a wine tasting event (details to follow in the 2nd CFP).

Contributed Sessions:

Session 1: General Scientific Realism – Invited Speaker: Michael Devitt (City University of New York)

Session 2: Truth, Progress, Success and Scientific Realism – Invited Speaker: Ilkka Niiniluoto (University of Helsinki)

Session 3: Selective Realisms – Invited Speakers: Steven French (University of Leeds) & Michela Massimi (University of Edinburgh)

Session 4: The Semantic View and Scientific Realism – Invited Speaker: Roman Frigg (London School of Economics)

Session 5: Scientific Realism and the Social Sciences – Invited Speaker: Uskali Mäki (University of Helsinki)

Session 6: Anti-Realism – Invited Speakers: Kyle Stanford (University of California, Irvine) & Mauricio Suárez – Universidad Complutense de Madrid)


Abstracts must be submitted to the conference email address:

Abstracts must be 750-1000 words. Please indicate clearly in which session you see your paper as falling. Please prepare abstracts for blind review.

Important Dates:

Due date for abstracts: 15 December 2013

Announcement of accepted papers: 15 February 2014

Registration Period: 15 February 2014 – 31 July 2014 (Discount for early registration will be announced in the 2nd CFP)


The venue for the conference is the Villa Via Hotel in Gordon’s Bay in the Western Cape (about 45 minutes from Cape Town):

Participants can book accommodation in the hotel, or in one of the guest houses close to the hotel in Gordon’s Bay. More detail with regards to accommodation will be given in the 2nd CFP and on the conference website.

Conference Fee: 1500 ZAR (approximately 125 EUR, 164 USD, 107 GBP according to current exchange rates)

Information on possible financial aid to postgraduates and other delegates will be given in later CFP’s.

 Conference Website: be activated in the next few days)

We look forward to hosting the conference. Please feel free to contact us for any clarification at

Organising Committee:

Chair: Emma Ruttkamp-Bloem (University of Pretoria)

Alex Broadbent (University of Johannesburg)

HPP (Hennie) Lötter (University of Johannesburg)


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